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Full text of "Verdict On India"

LOOSE  EXDS                                          211
illustrated by a distinguished Hindu scholar, Professor Amarnatha
Jha. In a recent article The Leader, Allahabad, he writes, under
the title of kThe Bubble of Hindustani' :
* It is best to be frank. Go to any hostel of Hindu students;
there will always be some Urdu magazine in the reading room.
Go to a Muslim hostel, you will not find a Hindi magazine there
even by mistake. Look at the list of Hindu students of Urdu at
university examinations—contrast the number of Muslims offering
Hindi or—unless there is a miracle—Sanskrit. One must regret
having to write in this strain, but until we find that our Muslim
friends have a less contemptuous attitude towards Hindi we must
deelme to consider the possibility of a coalition/
Gandhi would like us to believe that, as soon as the British quit
India, all these ancient animosities will melt away like the mists
at dawn, that Hindus will write love letters to Muslims in the
hated Urdu and that Muslims mil write love letters to Hindus iir
the despised Sanskrit (though it is impossible to discover what
really are Gandhi's views on, the language question, even- after
reading everypage of the book which he has devoted to thesubjeet).1
However, even if you could bring Hindi and Urdu together
under the common title of Hindustani (which is 10 to 1 * against *)>
and even if you could decide upon a common script (which is
1,000 to 1 cagainst') what about the rest of India ? You cannot
suddenly inform language groups larger than, the entire popula-
tion of Prance that they are to go back to school, to sacrifice their
literature and start their mental life all over again. It is not even
as though you could say to them cwe must be bi-lingual"—you
would have to say 'we must be tri-lingual/ for Eqglish is already
an absolutely essential secondary language in all affairs of com-
merce and government. History has seen to that, and even the
Congress propagandists are compelled to admit it, though with
much grinding of teeth.
And so the problem remains, and is likely to remain until the
modern world has been transformed by a great many miracles too-
startling to be envisaged even by Mr. H. G. Wells. In the mean-
# 1The interested student in Gandhi's mental convolutions should read Our
Language Problem, by Mahatma Gandhi (Hingoiani, Karachi). Another Congress
publication, which ties itself up in the most entertaining knots, is Xatzcwal Language
fo-f India (Kitabistan, Allahabad).